What clicks in your mind when you think about endurance athletes?
An endurance athlete is a person who bears hardship during sport. This means that he has the power for continuity and lastingness. An endurance athlete commits his mental and physical efforts to the game. Below is a list of activities you are supposed to undertake to accomplish your goals:
- Avoid Excessive Dehydration
As an endurance athlete, you should consume the right amounts of the right nutrient at the right time. If you over or under supply your body you will compromise your performance as well as incur devastating results. Research has shown that these practices lead to a condition known as hyponatremia. Over drinking water will lead to dilution of sodium in the body as well as electrolytes in the blood.
- It increases muscular cramping
- It leads to stomach discomfort
- It increases the amounts of urine in the kidneys
- It results to bloating of the stomach
500-700 milliliters/hour will quench the thirst of most athletes. The key thing is to maintain a balance between your intake and your output (sweat). If you take more than this range, you increase your chances of having dilutional hyponatremia. In case you are training or taking a sport in a hot environment, and you need to take more water, make sure you also increase your electrolytes. This can be achieved by consuming Endurolytes.
- Avoid Simple Sugars Intake
Simple polysaccharides such as sucrose, glucose, and fructose are poor energy providers for endurance athletes. The disadvantage about these simple sugars is that they must be mixed with weak solutions to match the osmotic of the body fluid. In addition, they provide inadequate energy to sustain an endurance athlete. Intake of a sugar-based product will lead to electrolytes being removed from areas where they are most needed and diverted to the digestive system to stabilize the concentrated simple sugars.
- Increased intake of this solutions causes stomach discomfort.
- It causes stomach bloating
- Excessive intake can cause fluid intoxication
Take complex carbohydrates as they allow the digestive system to efficiently and rapidly process greater volumes of calories. These calories provide steady energy flow for consistent training for sporting. These complex carbohydrates are emptied from the stomach with the same rate as normal fluids but provide three times energy as compared to that of simple sugars.
- Do not Compensate Calories with Calories
Many endurance athletes have the misconception that if they spend 500 calories during training or sporting, they are supposed to compensate for the same amounts of calories or more. The fact is, immediately the calories are exempted from your body, they are immediately replaced by fats and glycogen stored in the body. Replacing the calories lost with the same amount or more will lead to a condition known as digestive maladies.
Stick to your daily intake program of calories. An endurance athlete is recommended to take approximately 120 – 150 calories per hour if they weigh between 72.5 -75 kg (160 – 165lbs) and light weight athletes should consume less than the above. The key is to focus on how much the body need to keep you on the game.
- Remember Electrolyte Intake
It is obvious to take enough calories and fluids during training and sporting, but endurance athletes sometimes forget to supplement their bodies with electrolytes. Just like a car engine needs adequate oil to keep it running, your body also needs sufficient electrolytes to maintain optimum functioning of vital body parts such as the muscles.
Do not compensate your body with only one type of electrolyte supplementation as you are going to override the complex mechanism that regulates proper balance of the body electrolytes. Ensure you provide your body with a blend of electrolytes that will be incorporated in the body without causing any harm.
- Increase Protein Intake
Endurance athletes who train or sport for two hours or more need to consume a lot of proteins. This is because, during exercise, the body derives energy from amino acids. This metabolic process provides the body 5-15% of body energy requirements. Endurance athletes who do not take enough proteins will suffer a condition known as muscle cannibalization. This is a situation where the body will use your muscles to derive energy.
- Muscle cannibalization results to muscle deterioration which leads to poor performance
- It increases ammonia accumulation in the muscle leading to fatigue
- It affects the immune system negatively
Use soy proteins during exercise as it contains high levels of tyrosine and phenylalanine which helps in maintaining alertness during long hours of training. It also has high levels of aspartic acid which aid in energy production.